BIBLE: Matthew Chapter 9 – Headline “Nothing to Prove”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Matthew 9

What should I learn from this chapter?

  • The hem is a place of authority
  • The Meaning of the name Matthew
  • Who can raise someone from the dead?
  • Jesus and the Ark of the Covenant
  • The tombstone
  • A chart of parallel scriptures
  • The heart of the Ark

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic

Matthew 9:1 So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.

Jesus’ own city would be Capernaum, where he seems to have had his common residence at the house of Peter.

Matthew 9:2 Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
  • “Son” is a title assuming the man was Jewish. Jesus encourages him to “be of good cheer” because his sins are forgiven. But the man did not come to Jesus to be forgiven, he came to be healed.
Matthew 9:3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”
  • There is always a “a scribe” ready to note a condemnation. The other conclusion never crossed their minds.
Matthew 9:4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?
Matthew 9:5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?

From man’s perspective it is harder to heal a paralytic because, once pronounced, Jesus’ words would condemn him if the man is not healed. However; to simply say ‘your sins are forgiven you’ has no accountability since there is no way to prove it one way or another.

Therefore; Jesus proves His ability to forgive sins by proving His ability to heal a paralytic. He is God in the flesh.

See Topic: Meaning of Mystery Verses

Matthew 9:6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
  • Note: “Take up your bed”: clean up your mess from your life and go home.

Matthew 9:7 And he arose and departed to his house.

Matthew 9:8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled (were afraid) and glorified God, who had given such power to men.

  • Jesus wasn’t just any man, He had an ancient history.

Matthew the Tax Collector

Matthew 9:9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
  • Tax collectors were despised by the Jews. Matthew was shunned and isolated from the Jewish community. The Old Testament calls it “cut off from the assembly”.
  • The author of this gospel is Matthew who is writing about his own experience.
  • Matthew in Hebrew means: “gift of God” or “reward of God.”
    The name Matthew is a Hebrew name, and is written in Hebrew as מתתיה (matityah). This name is the Hebrew noun מתת (matat, Strong’s #4991) meaning “gift” or “reward,” and the name יה (Yah, Strong’s #3050). Combined, this name means “gift of Yah” or “reward of Yah.”
    Jeff A. Benner
Matthew 9:10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.

People of ill repute were invited to the table.

Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
  • By the words of their own mouth, the Pharisees condemn them selves, for the questions assumes that they are NOT sinners.
  • The next verse explains why Jesus did not confront them with their sins.
Matthew 9:12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

A person who does not believe that he is sick will not seek out a doctor. However, a person who knows he is sick is willing to listen to the one who can heal them.

“A person convinced against his will, is yet an unbeliever still.”

Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
  • Repentance is not just being sorry or asking forgiveness, it’s about changing your actions. It demands making a “You-Turn” in your life.
  • It takes mercy to bring a sinner to repentance.

Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting

Matthew 9:14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?”
  • The insinuation is that they and the Pharisees are more righteous than Jesus and His disciples. But fasting is for those who mourn for something better.
Matthew 9:15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom (Lit. sons of the bride chamber) mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
  • Jesus is the bridegroom. The friends of the bridegroom are His disciples and it is appropriate to feast and celebrate these occasions together.
  • But the days are coming when Jesus will be killed and then they will mourn.
  • Jesus, as God, made a marriage agreement and contract with the Jewish nation at Mt. Sinai called the Ten Commandments. God is “espoused” to the Jews as their bridegroom. He calls them His “wife” in the same sense that Mary was “espoused” to Joseph. The marriage has not yet been consummated. The Ark of the Covenant is the bride’s “hope chest”. Inside the Ark resides the marriage covenant between God and the Jews.
  • Jesus is the mercy seat on the Ark where the blood of the sacrifice is placed. The definition of “Ark” is “coffin”. The groom is soon to be “taken away”.
    The heart of the Ark is the law. Jesus’ blood covered the law when His heart was speared.
  • The Ark is Jesus’ tomb with an angel at His head and an angel at His feet where he had laid. The round stone that sealed His tomb could not keep Him in His grave.
  • The stone that sealed His tomb was like a mill stone used to press olives. Jesus, the anointed Son of God was pressed in the Garden of Gethsamane and He poured His soul out unto death.
  • Satan, the sea monster in the sea of people, is described in Job 41:24 His heart is as hard as stone, even as hard as the lower millstone.
Matthew 9:16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch (Lit. that which is put on) pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse.
  • The unshrunk cloth is the New Covenant and the old garment is the Old Covenant.

Matthew 9:17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins (burst) break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

  • The Hebrew word for red blood is the same word for red wine: “dom”. The new wine is Jesus’ blood while the old wine is the blood of the sacrifices.
  • It is impossible to make the New Covenant work within the boundaries of the Old Covenant seeing that the New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant. Mercy is better than sacrifice.

A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed

Matthew 9:18 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”
  • A ruler “worshiped” Him. God is the only One to be worshiped. Therefore the ruler understood that Jesus was God. Furthermore; only God can raise someone from the dead. What gave this ruler the impression that Jesus could raise someone from the dead except his belief in Jesus as God?

Matthew 9:19 So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.

Matthew 9:20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.

►To come from behind is to be blind-sided causing the one touched to be startled. Mark 5:30: And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”

►She touched the hem of His garment. This means she would have to be bowing low. Why did she reach for the hem?

(Tzitzit) “tassels” or “fringes” are worn by Jews on four-cornered garments (Num. 15:38:41). The Greek text says she touched the kraspedon, Greek for “fringe” or “hem” and the Hebrew equivalent is kanaf which also means “corner” or “edge”. (The location of authority)

Kanafim is also a Hebrew word for “wings”. The “corners of garments” have been compared with “bird’s wings/pinions” in scripture. (The concept of protection) (Psalms 17:8, 91:4)

“But for you who fear My name, the (Son) sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall” (Mal 3:20/4:2). And that is why Jesus said to her that her faith made her whole. She recognized Yeshua as the Messiah and knew that as God’s anointed he had God’s “healing in his wings”, the corners of his garment.” God’s Healing Wings By Pinchas Shir April 12, 2018

  • Zechariah 8:23 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve kanaph (Lit. wing, corner of a garment H3671) of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ’ ”

►For twelve years she had a flow of blood.

To study the biblical meaning for the number 12 Click here for Topic: Numbers – their meanings and symbolism.

Matthew 9:21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”

There is healing in God’s wings which is the hem of the Jewish garment.

Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

►Daughter is the word used for a Jewish woman.

►Parallel Scriptures:

Parallel Scriptures: The Woman with a Flow of Blood for Twelve Years
Mark 5:5-34
Luke 8:42-48
Woman with a Flow of Blood For Twelve Years

Matthew 9:23 When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing,

Matthew 9:24 He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him.

 What is the difference between “dead” and “sleeping”? The first is physical and the second spiritual.

To be dead is compared to sleeping, a temporary state. There will come a time when all men, the evil and the righteous, will be “awakened” – raised from the dead.

  • Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Matthew 9:25 But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.
  • The girl, although raised from the dead, was not resurrected in the sense of a real resurrection. A real resurrection is someone raised from the dead never to die again.
Matthew 9:26 And the report of this went out into all that land.

Two Blind Men Healed

Matthew 9:27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”

Being the “Son of David” is the Jewish term for the Messiah. They were crying for mercy from the One who is the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant.

To study the biblical meaning for the number 2 Click here for Topic: Numbers – their meanings and symbolism.

“Two” is symbolic for
1) “There is another (The Son of God, Jacob’s Two Wives, etc)”,
2) “It is decided and done (Like the cup and the bread of the last supper – or Joseph interpreting the dreams of the cup bearer and the baker)”
3) “Either/Or (Jacob’s way or Esau’s way, God’s way or Satan’s way, Light or Dark) A choice”.

Matthew 9:28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”

For them to believe that He could heal them, they had to believe in His identity as the Son of God, the Messiah.

  • John 6:28-29 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

See: The Unforgiveable Sin ~Barbara Grover

Matthew 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
Matthew 9:30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.”

Why would Jesus want no one to ask about it and furthermore; why would they spread the news about Him when he asked them not to?

Jesus avoided being known by the leaders of the Jews for obvious reasons: Jesus threatened their power and when men’s power is threatened they will set out to kill their target. Ironically, Jesus had to stay alive until Passover when He would be killed.

Matthew 9:31 But when they had departed, they (Lit. made Him known) spread the news about Him in all that (Lit. land) country.

The chapter begins with Capernaum. The news about Him went out in all that country.

Man’s sinful nature keeps him from controlling his tongue. He is endowed with boastful pride and a lack of respect for boundaries. The question is, did they really understand who Jesus was?

  • Matthew 11:23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

A Mute Man Speaks

Matthew 9:32 As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed.

  • A demon is defined as an evil spirit. A spirit is something that cannot be seen in the visible world and does not follow the physical laws binding mankind to their three dimensional world.
  • A spirit must have a source, and be bound to its source.
  • In quantum physics “binding” means being tied to something, the same meaning, I believe as a possession (similar to “entanglement”).
  • The fallen angels who followed Satan has him as their source, being tied to him, and having his powers.
  • The opposite of being tied to Satan is being sealed by the Holy Spirit whose source is God.

“tied” = bound, linked, entangled, possessed, sealed, marriage, united with either God or Satan. There is no neutrality. If you reject God, you get Satan.

See Topic: Demons and Angels

 Matthew 9:33 And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”

Matthew 9:34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”

  • Luke 11:19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub (the ruler of the demons), by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.

The Compassion of Jesus

Matthew 9:35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel (good news) of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

The good news is that the King, the Messiah, has arrived in Israel, and He proved it with wonders, signs and miracles.

 Matthew 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were (harassed) weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

The leaders, the priests, the scribes were to be their shepherd. But they were shepherd-less, except for the “Good Shepherd”.

  • Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

The Shepherd is also a Lamb, the “Lamb of God”.

As prophesied there will come a notorious false shepherd, the “Antichrist”; one who stands in the place of the Christ. He will be the worthless shepherd.

  • Zechariah 11:16 For indeed I will raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces.
  • Zechariah 11:17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his arm And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.”
  • John 5:43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.

Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Matthew 9:38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

SUMMARY: The miracles in Matthew chapter nine are filled with mysterious puzzles which force the reader to come to unnerving conclusions:

  1. If only God can forgive sins, then wasn’t Jesus God? How can this “Man” heal if He is not supernatural? Are people still healed today?
    The fact is, Jesus IS God. The Word was “with” God and the Word “was” God. The Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among men. John 1:1

2. Why would the blind men spread the word when Jesus asked them not to?
They were so needy to feel important they turned on the very man who made them important. The human sin nature is such that we destroy that which sustains us.

3. How can a demon-possessed person be recognized?
To study the recognition of demon-possession click here:
Topic: Demon Possession

4. The Pharisees were very religious. Is being religious being righteous? What is the difference between religiousness and righteousness?
Anything can be a religion. Being righteousness can only happen under the blood of Christ.
This is the religion of man: demanding a god who will do what they want him to do instead of accepting and obeying THE GOD they profess to worship.

5. Why did Jesus see a potential harvest of resurrections when He looked at the crowd?
He saw a crowd of pain, fear, hunger, and neediness. When a person is given hope, love, and truth, they are receptive to the message.

6. What made the harvest “plentiful”?
The crowds followed Him everywhere. A person who speaks Truth will be followed.

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